Saturday, September 29, 2007
Some writers write books, other books are written by writers.

To elaborate and elucidate, there are two types of writers. The first is the kind that write memorable books. So if I say, Pearl Buck, you think of The Good Earth, If I mention Margaret Mitchell, it reminds you of Gone With The Wind. Each book of such writers is a story in itself, complete on its own, needing nothing further.
The second type is associated, not with a book, but a certain kind of book. Consider Danielle Steele, or Jefferey Archer, or Agatha Christie, and even Robin Cook.

This is not to say that the former group consists of writers that write only a single book in their lifetime. While this is the case with some, like Margaret Mitchell, Harper Lee and J K Rowling, Pearl Buck wrote many books, as did Richard Llewellyn.

Definitely, I prefer the former to the latter.
The series of books, whether they be thrillers or romances tend to get boring, hackneyed, cliched... even the best ones, after a few read in succession. While their stories and writing styles might be commendable, they fail to be distinctive, blurring into each other, complementing each other.
On the other hand, the former group of books, have a better identity by themselves, free of the writers. Their story is something to be savored for itself and remembered. It's not mere leisure reading.

As I read somewhere, "A good book tells the truth about its characters. A bad book tells the truth about its author".
posted by Clezevra @ 7:57 AM  
  • At September 29, 2007 at 9:52 AM, Blogger Doubletake, Doublethink. said…

    isn't that what makes them memorable? that there is this one defining work. harper lee never wrote anything else, and i dont think she could ever eclipse mockingbird. that's what makes books wonderful, i think. that they're unpredictable. some christies are masterpieces, and some classics are insufferable.

  • At October 2, 2007 at 4:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    there are two kinds of authors. but where do you stand? the first or the second type? or neither?i stand in the first. keep posting, i can see a change. rhododendron

  • At October 2, 2007 at 6:54 AM, Blogger Kirra Serra said…

    you HAVE to be so aloof in your trail of thoughts, don't you? earth to sushmita. welcome to this world of perhaps a tad bit stupid but fairly normal humans. how does it feel to be among us? i confess I am surprised how sijin and you are able to communicate (you do need to communicate for arguing too). i would have called you ppl poles apart but hell, even they are too near.

  • At October 2, 2007 at 8:18 AM, Blogger Safdar -- veil-unmasked. said…

    true. but i still think, one needs to applaud a good second buk after a brilliant first.

    and wait wait.
    is enid blyton missing???

  • At October 5, 2007 at 2:36 AM, Blogger speedpost said…

    The problem is essentially that we get too judgmental. It isn't an author's fault that his first publication ushered in a whole new generation of writing.
    Im sure authors aren't supercilious enough to go, " Ok. Now I am going to sit down and write something that will change the world". That's what we bring it to, I guess, in all our overenthusiasm.
    Khaled Hosseini, for example.A thousand splendid suns is not as good as Kite Runner is, maybe. But its charm lies elsewhere. And that is what stays on.

  • At October 13, 2007 at 1:15 AM, Blogger Maximum Boy said…

    woah, you really get a lot of comments.i always feel like a dork leaving comments.

    "A good book tells the truth about its characters. A bad book tells the truth about its author".-nice.

  • At October 14, 2007 at 2:07 AM, Blogger Maximum Boy said…

    What makes u think i did not read the post?

  • At October 14, 2007 at 2:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    now....i totally disagree with you about agatha christi and her types (the second grp) to be boring,why hypocrite!! you once only said agatha is one of your best authors and anyway , writtng books about the same stuff and still earning money for that,...i think thats an art... rather than writing one super book and then living the rest of your life in a dark alley with no life seeing people make money by writing sequels to your own book(this is with reference to M. Mitchell)-ziah

  • At September 9, 2009 at 6:37 AM, Blogger Kirra Serra said…

    Stagnation, not only with reference to the story but even style (however inevitable) does not reconcile with my preconcieved notion of an author (in the truest meaning of the title). I quite agree with Zara here. They do blur into one another. Isn't it much better to write only one but brilliant book than to write ten mediocre ones. We are not contesting who writes the most but who writes the best. Why crowd the already tremendous bounty of literature with things it could do without. Being repetitive and making money out of it (a crass way of putting it) is making use of mob mentality and 'fads'. Not art, but smart. And frankly, if I ever write anything so good that people write sequels to it, I would be very flattered indeed. And, oh yeah, people who write these sequels have to first pay the author for the rights to do so. Thus, I strongly doubt a 'dark alley' where one will find them.

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